As we all start to realise the coronavirus crisis is not going to be over any time soon, we are all looking for ways to maintain physical fitness but also, and equally importantly, we are focusing on mental and spiritual well-being. Aware that Qigong is both mentally and physically strengthening, but knowing little else about it, I set out to discover more. I spoke to Catherine Burnett, teacher trainer and practitioner in the art of Qigong in Hastings.

Catherine explained that Qigong, which basically means ‘energy practice’, is often described as a moving meditation, or the Chinese version of yoga. It is an embodied contemplative practice with its roots in traditional Chinese medicine and philosophy. The wisdom underlying the practice is that change is inevitable and the only thing we can really control is our response to change – particularly pertinent at a time when the pandemic constantly reminds us of how little control we have. 

Qigong on the beach before the lockdown
PICTURE: Mark Barwell

Qigong teaches us to connect: with ourselves, with each other and with the wonder and energy of all life, particularly important during this time of enforced isolation and separation from the familiar. The aim is to integrate body, mind and breath, often in a mindful meditation of slow, graceful movements and visualisations, which enhance the body’s natural ability to organise and heal itself. 

If, like me, you think ‘slow, graceful movements’ sounds rather like the better-known Tai Chi, it’s helpful to know that Tai Chi Chuan is one of many forms of Qigong, specifically for the martial arts.

In terms of scientific evidence of its healing powers, Qigong has good credentials. The peer-reviewed comprehensive review of the health benefits of Qigong and Tai Chi published in the American Journal of Health Promotion points to improvements in bone density, balance, hypertension and immune function. Many studies have shown a significant reduction in anxiety and depression as a result of the practice. The review also highlights the accessibility and low cost of Qigong and its usefulness in offering an alternative to more vigorous forms of exercise – for those of us who’ve been trying to follow Joe Wicks’ PE for kids, this is exactly what we want to hear. 

Qigong is becoming increasingly popular and we are lucky in Hastings to have many teachers. While we are at home and struggling to stay strong in every dimension of our lives, now may be the perfect time to discover more about the mental and physical well-being that the practice can bring. A number of teachers are providing online guidance and the panel opposite shows who will be teaching what, where, and for how long.

For more information on Qigong please go to: qigongteachertraining.co.uk  or
www.qigongteachertraining.co.uk/online-qigong-yoga-meditation


Find an online class to suit you:

MONDAYS

Qigong with Tasha Kalisher
9.30am-10.30am
[email protected]

Qigong & Taiji with Matt Woods
10.00am-11.15am
[email protected]

Qigong with Sarah Kimber
11.00am-12.00pm
[email protected]

Qigong with Nick Neter
3.00pm-4.00pm
[email protected]

Yoga with Annie Cryar
6.00pm-7.00pm
[email protected]

TUSEDAYS

Qigong with Catherine Burnett 
10.00am-11.00am
[email protected]

Qigong with Heather Logan
10.00am-11.00am
[email protected]

Qigong with Sarah Kimber
1.30pm-2.30pm
[email protected]

Yoga with Annie Cryar
5.30pm-6.45pm
[email protected]

Qigong with Svenja Schaper
7.00pm-8.00pm
[email protected]

Qigong with Richard Green
7.30pm-8.30pm
[email protected]

WEDNESDAYS

Qigong with Nicola Ley
10.00am-11.00am
[email protected]

Qigong with Emma Money-Kyrle 
12.00pm-1.00pm
[email protected]

Qigong with Sarah Kimber
4.00pm-5.00pm
[email protected]

Qigong with Dominic Hill 
8.00pm-9.30pm
[email protected]

THURSDAYS

Qigong with Nicola Ley 
10.00am-11.00am
[email protected]

Qigong with Ann Barnett
11.15am-12.00pm
[email protected]

Qigong with Antigone Tsegeli 
4.00pm-5.00pm
[email protected]

FRIDAYS

Qigong with Emma Money-Kyrle 
10.00am-11.00am
[email protected]

Qigong & Taiji with Matt Woods 
10.00am-11.15am
[email protected]

Chair based Qigong with Nick Neter 
11.30am-12.30pm
[email protected]

Qigong with Antigone Tsegeli 
4.00pm-5.00pm
[email protected]

ANY DAY

Pre-recorded Qigong inspired Somatic Pilates with Elaine Westwick
[email protected]

• Catherine has another Qigong session to be confirmed in the coming days, please contact her for the day/time
[email protected]

• And you can find further Yoga sessions her www.stleonards.studio/timetable or contact Annie [email protected]


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